The Great Spatula Award

Self: Health and Lifestyle
14-16 years
Anticipate Time
3 hours min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Creativity, Excellence, Thoroughness, Orderliness, Cleanliness


Pathfinders participate in a round of friendly competition to create a gourmet vegetarian meal in a attempt to earn the prestigious ‘Spatula Award’.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:
1. Give attention to detail as the cooking process is demonstrated
2. Follow directions in cooking the selected recipes
3. Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of the visual appeal of food with the presentation of the dishes
4. Demonstrate cleanliness and orderliness throughout the cooking process, from preparation through to clean up

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

2 Timothy 2: 10
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There are many ways of honouring a person: one could keep an agreement, give up your seat for an elderly person, keep a secret – or one could serve a meal that shows preparation, thought and care. When we present food in an appealing way, it is a compliment to our guests as well as a compliment to the food. God has made such vast variety when He created food. And He gave us senses that would delight in the sight, aroma and taste of His bounty.

This Pursuit celebrates not only creativity and attention to detail, but it honours another in the care taken in preparation.
Go for it!


NB. Adapt the information outlined in this Pursuit, depending on the number of Pathfinders in your group and the size of your kitchen. It may be that some of your group will need to work on another Pursuit during this time, and then swap at your next meeting.

  1. To distribute the labour, you may like to enlist the help of a great cook, who will demonstrate the recipes to the Pathfinders. You can then be left to ensuring you have all the ingredients (x the number of Pathfinders you have doing the Pursuit). You may arrange for your Pathfinders to work in pairs and be judged as a pair.
  2. With the assistance of your ‘cook’, select recipes that will suit the ability of those in your group. Plan your menu. Decide whether you want to include a three course meal (entree, main and dessert), or a two course meal (main meal and dessert).
  3. Assemble all equipment. Be sure you have enough of everything for each ‘Chef’ or ‘Chef Pair’ in your group.
  4. Place all ingredients for each recipe in containers and place them in the working area for each participant.
  5. Ensure you have different types of plates for the presentation of the food, so each ‘Chef’ can be identified by the Judges. ie. Chef number one will always use a certain patterned dinner setting when presenting his / her food.
  6. With the help of your ‘cook’, select recipes which are simple, nutritious, and easy to ‘make attractive’.
  7. Choose 3 Judges who will sample each of the dishes created. You may select some Pathfinders to be judges, as well as other Counsellors, your Pastor… Give the Judges a copy of the Judging record sheet as found in Appendix B. Fill in the Dinner set patterns you have selected on the judging sheet so that each entrant can be anonymously and consistently identified with the Judges.
  8. Copy enough Lifeline cards to give two to each entrant.
  9. Ensure you have some food items which can be used purely as a garnish. Reinforce to your group the importance of the visual appeal of your food: half their score will be on appearance, (the other half on taste).
  • Basic kitchen items will be required for this Pursuit. Specific equipment will be dependent on the recipes selected. NB. Multiple pieces of equipment eg. electric frying pan, mixing bowls, etc will be needed as each ‘cook’ will need one.
  • Cookbooks for recipe ideas
  • Books and Magazines with food presentation ideas
  • Three plates to suit the dishes being prepared (one for entree, main and dessert) for each participant. You will need to have enough different dinner plate designs so that each participant can use a design unique to them for judging purposes.
  • A kitchen spatula – painted gold and mounted on a timber base. Inscribe with ‘Winner of the Prestigious Spatula Award for this year 200_’. This can be engraved or simply computer generated to save cost.
  • Lifeline cards (See Appendix A).
  • Judging Record Sheet (See Appendix B).


1. Gather your whole group together (include those who may not be participating in tonight’s ’round’). Explain the intent of this Pursuit. Say: Each of you are to be entrants in the ‘Great Spatula Award’ competition. You are to use your observation, listening skills and culinary knowledge to recreate a recipe that is demonstrated for you by our trusted ‘chef’ here ________. Each of you must listen to all instructions carefully, for no details will be repeated. You will, however, be issued two ‘Lifelines’ (Refer to Appendix for photocopieable outlines) which you can hand in to the cook and be given an answer to a query you have about any aspect of the cooking process which you may have missed. Each participant is then to select a dinner setting which will be your identification with the Judges so you can ‘show off’ your dish in an appealing way. Additional fruit and vegetables will be provided which you can use to decorate your recipes as the Judges will be marking on both appearance and taste. Reinforce to the participants the importance of both hygenic practices as they deal with food and cleaning up after themselves as they work .
NB. If your chefs are working in pairs, there will be a ‘knowledge advantage, as two sets of ears and eyes will invariably pick up on more detail. Encourage them to talk to each other quietly to clarify instructions.

2. Show each participant their work area and then proceed with the demonstrations. One recipe will be demonstrated and then immediately the participants will repeat the procedure. All ingredients will be in containers in each persons work area. You may wish to take time before you begin to show some food presentation ideas from books and magazines.

3. Assign a dinner plate design to each person and tell them they must consistently use it – for it is their identification symbol with the Judges. Show them the food items which can be used to present your dishes well. Tell them the judges will sample food from all the plates and award a mark out of 10 for the taste of each course, and a mark out of 10 for the presentation of the food. Thus a total of 60 marks will be possible for each entrant.

4. Proceed with the demonstrations and cooking for all courses and then await the Judges decision (which is, of course final… no discussion will be entered into…etc etc).

5. If your Pathfinders are going to be involved in a series of ’rounds’ with this Pursuit, simply keep the Judges’ tallies and award the prize at the end to the highest point scorer. For consistency and fairness, the same judges should be kept for all rounds. When the winner has been declared, present him / her with the prestigious Gold Spatula Award.


Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit. 
Select from the questions below:

  • What part of this Pursuit did you enjoy the most?
  • What was the biggest challenge?
  • What was the biggest pressure?
  • Whose presentation for what recipe did you like the most?


  • How does preparing food for someone demonstrate honour?
  • Which of the following values did you really show during this Pursuit? Cleanliness, Creativity, Excellence, Orderliness, Self-Discipline, Thoroughness


  • Choose one of these values. Share a time this week when it may be called on again to be practiced.
  • Which of these values have you ‘mastered’ the most? Which one challenges you the most?


  • The fine chefs in the world are committed to excellence. Choose an area of your life and make a decision now to pursue excellence in this fiel, THIS WEEK. Ask yourself: ‘What would better look like / be like in this area?’ and go for it!


Appendix A
Lifeline Coupon
Photocopy these coupons and give two to each participant. Tell them they are to be handed in when used. See ‘Handouts‘ below for an A4 page with nine of these coupons, ready to copy.

Appendix B

‘The Great Spatula Award’
Judging Record Sheet
Dinner Plate Design
( /10)
( /10)
( /10)
( /30)
Entrant A:
Taste Presentation Taste Presentation Taste Presentation Taste Presentation
Entrant B:
Entrant C:

And the WINNER is _________________!